Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all rights in North America, Latin America, India, Pan Asia (excluding Japan), the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Turkey, and airlines and ships worldwide to MOTHERING SUNDAY directed by Eva Husson (GIRLS OF THE SUN) and starring Odessa Young (ASSASSINATION NATION), Josh O’Connor (THE CROWN), Colin Firth (THE KING’S SPEECH), Olivia Colman (THE FAVOURITE) and Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù (GANGS OF LONDON). The film is written by Alice Birch (NORMAL PEOPLE, SUCCESSION), who adapted the screenplay from Graham Swift’s critically acclaimed and best-selling novel of the same name.
The film is produced by Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley of Number 9 Films (CAROL, THEIR FINEST, COLETTE) and will feature costume design from three-time Academy Award® winner and fifteen-time nominee Sandy Powell (THE IRISHMAN, MARY POPPINS RETURNS, THE FAVOURITE), hair and make-up design from BAFTA winner Nadia Stacey (THE FAVOURITE, upcoming CRUELLA), production design from BAFTA TV nominee Helen Scott (A VERY ENGLISH SCANDAL, WUTHERING HEIGHTS), cinematography by BIFA nominee Jamie Ramsay (MOFFIE, BEAUTY), and edited by Emilie Orsini (GIRLS OF THE SUN, THE PARTY). Principal photography began in the U.K. this week. Lionsgate UK has acquired the UK distribution rights and is planning a theatrical release in 2021.
The film has been developed with support from Film4 and the BFI awarding National Lottery funding, with financing from Film4, BFI and Lipsync.
MOTHERING SUNDAY centers on March 30, 1924 in Beechwood, England. Jane Fairchild (Odessa Young), a maid in the Niven household, has the day off to celebrate Mothering Sunday while Mr. and Mrs. Niven (Colin Firth and Olivia Colman) attend a lunch to celebrate the engagement of their neighbor’s only remaining son, Paul (Josh O’Connor). Although Jane rejoices at her freedom on an unseasonably hot, beautiful spring day, she has no mother to go to—and for almost seven years she has, joyfully and without shame, been Paul’s lover. Like the Nivens, Paul belongs to England’s old money aristocracy, whereas Jane was orphaned at birth. With the house conveniently empty, they can finally meet in Paul’s bedroom for the first time. Today will be their last as lovers. It is also the day that will mark the beginning of Jane’s transformation.
“In Cannes 2018 Eva Husson brought us Girls of the Sun, a movie with such ferocious energy we knew at once we were in the presence of a major new filmmaker. Her energy coupled with the dramatic conflict between romance and Britain’s class system as beautifully written in the screenplay by Alice Birch based on the provocative novel by Graham Swift promises to be an amazing movie,” said Sony Pictures Classics. “We are excited to be releasing this rich, modern yet still classical movie and to be working once again with our friends Liz and Stephen and the folks at Rocket Science.”
“We are thrilled to be on the brink of shooting MOTHERING SUNDAY during this most unusual time, and we are excited that Eva Husson will be directing our stellar cast, from Alice Birch’s superb adaptation of Graham Swift’s novel,” said Karlsen and Woolley of Number 9 Films. “We are fortunate and blessed to be working with an incredible team, and we are equally delighted to be partnered again with the Sony Pictures Classics crew. Our relationship with Michael, Tom and Dylan spans nearly four decades and they are undoubtedly the perfect US promoters, marketers and distributors for what we all hope will be a beautiful movie. Thank you Rocket Science, Film4 and BFI for their crucial contribution to making this collaboration happen.”